Team Blogs

Team Blogs

Les Jardins d’Anaïs

  If you ever find yourselves in Luxembourg (and we do often to meet some relatives and friends), you should dine at a beautiful restaurant called LES JARDINS D’ANAÏS set in a huge conservatory with tables in a beautiful garden near a canal. It is also a boutique hotel, situated in the Grund, the old […]


AZERBAIJAN: THE LAND OF FIRE We chose Azerbaijan as a destination for a week’s holiday for no reason: pure curiosity – that it had hosted the Formula One, Saha Hadid had designed one of the most modern and psychedelic cultural museum in Baku, that it was or had been the centre meeting point for the […]

Coteaux du Giennois celebrates 20 years as an appellation

Appellation Coteaux du Giennois is celebrating its first 20 years this year. In 1998 it was promoted from VDQS to full appellation contrôlée status. The VDQS category was created in 1949 and was intended as an in-between status between vin de pays and full appellation. Giennois became a VDQS in 1954. VDQS came to end […]

The Loire Central Vineyards – expansion and renaissance

The last 27 years has seen very considerably changes in the Central Loire Vineyards. With one sole exception it has been a tale of success and expansion. It is fascinating to compare the area planted in each of the Central Loire appellation in 1990 with the area planted in 2017.  An overall increase of 2451 […]

Weingut Ernst Triebaumer, Rust, Burgenland, Austria

The first Triebaumer, a Lutheran fleeing from the Catholic Counter-Reformation, arrived in Rust in 1691, married the daughter of a local winemaker, and set the family on its course for the following three-and-a-quarter centuries. Rust is the centre of the production of Ruster Ausbruch botrytis wines, amongst the greatest sweet wines in the world, and […]

Andrew Jefford on Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé – all things are not equal

There is a very good post (Sancerre and friends) by Andrew Jefford published on on Monday 18th December 2017. Not a surprise that Andrew’s article is good. No the surprise is that this was the first time that such a long established wine writer has visited Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and the other Central Loire appellations. […]

The largely hidden threat of esca: including a conversation with Christophe Mesliard

Esca is a vine fungal disease that usually over time kills the infected vine. It is becoming an increasing threat to the vineyards of France and other parts of Europe. Dying vine Reports on vintages tend to concentrate on how a particular year’s climate has impacted on the quality and quantity of wine made in […]

Jordanian Wines, Ancient And Modern

Not long ago, my husband and I spent eight days in Jordan as part of an historical and archaeological tour. Naturally I was looking forward to drinking Jordanian wines, about which I knew virtually nothing. What I had not anticipated was that I would also see two ancient wineries. Thanks to the knowledge of our […]

Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine Cru Vallet

November 12th 2017 saw the official launch of Cru Vallet, the latest Muscadet Cru to seek recognition by the INAO and the French Government. Cru Vallet would be the 10th Muscadet Cru Communaux assuming that all goes to plan and that it gains recognition. It is also the potentially largest in terms of area planted […]

Weingut Rainer Wess

The father-daughter combination of Rainer and Christina Wess work in tandem in both the vineyards and the winery – deciding when to pick, what yeast to use, and when to bottle. Whilst Rainer appears to do more of the clambering around the tanks, Christina takes the lead in marketing. It’s a successful combination, with Weingut […]

Wine investment can work

My previous post highlighted the many scams associated with wine investment. However, wine investment can work provided certain conditions are met. Please note that my comments concerning the tax position relate to the UK only.   It is crucial to buy the right wine from the right vintage at the right time and price from […]

A Winery on Vancouver Island

My husband Michael and I spent last week at a family reunion on Vancouver Island. Along with the beautiful scenery, the island has a burgeoning wine industry, and I wanted to take a half-day to visit at least one producer and taste his range of wines. We were staying in the island’s capital, Victoria, and […]

Chartogne -Taillet – a grower’s view of a well- tended vineyard

  Alexandre Chartogne is one of the rising stars of Champagne, a protégé of Anselme Selosse. Alexandre’s family had been vignerons since 1687 in the north west of the Champagne appellation at Merfy in the Massif St. Thierry above Reims. This beautiful district was famous for the quality of its wines in the 19th century […]

2017 Loire Vintage now underway

The last week of August has seen the start of the 2017 vintage in the Loire. The Ban des Vendanges for Muscadet (the official start of the harvest) was on 30th August, while picking in Anjou-Saumur for sparkling wine started a couple of days earlier. Langlois-Chateau started picking their Pinot Noir on 28th August. Although […]

Wine and Food at the Edinburgh Festival

My husband and I recently spent a week at the Edinburgh Festival, interweaving going to Monteverdi operas with having lunch at some celebrated restaurants. We booked two of them, both of which have Michelin stars, several weeks before driving up, and all three turned out to be part of one organization. On our first full […]

The risks and pitfalls of wine investment

The risks and pitfalls of wine investment  By Jim Budd How to protect yourself against wine investment scams and similar scams.  Wine can be a worthwhile alternative investment providing you buy the right wines at the right price and the right time from a legitimate company. Unfortunately like a number of other alternative investments it […]

History of Wine part 3 – Rome and Pliny, The Early Wine Connoisseur

Although the Greeks did differentiate between wines geographically – wine from Lesbos was of a certain quality, for example – true connoisseurship apparently had to await the Romans. Here, my hero is Pliny the Elder, who is probably remembered primarily for being killed in 79 AD by the eruption of Vesuvius. But in his own […]

Big wine + flat screen TVs seizure – Jim Budd reports

          Report from Kent Police on an alleged large distribution fraud – wine and flat screen TVs:       Policing news  Goods recovered in fraud investigation fill four lorries 24 Jul 2017 Items including tens of thousands of bottles of wine and the latest flat screen televisions have been seized by […]

Untying Tuscany – a quick guide to the wine region and its styles

Untying Tuscany – a quick guide to the wine region and its styles Introduction Tuscany in central Italy is famous for many things – the glorious art, architecture and culture of Florence and Siena, the Tuscan countryside, its beautiful rolling hills and breath-taking villas and, of course, its food and wine. In terms of wine, […]

A weekend in Oporto

A weekend in Oporto By Gary White The city of Porto (O Porto = the port) in north west Portugal is the country’s second city and famous for its historic connections with Britain and association with the port wine industry. The city is popular as a short-break destination for Brits, especially wine appreciators who like […]

Veuve Clicquot’s New Extra Brut Extra Old (EBEO)

Heritage & Innovation  Michael Edwards provides details of a special new multi vintage blend from Veuve Clicquot and tastes some equally remarkable old vintages.     Extra Brut Extra Old previewed this April in London and Edinburgh is a modern, intricate expression of Veuve Clicquot’s 200-year old core heritage, ever since the great lady herself […]

Romania and Its Wines

Romania as a wine-producing country is a conundrum. As a quantity producer, its history stretches back to its position as Dacia, a province of the Roman empire, but as a quality producer, its history must be measured in decades, not centuries. In the 19th century, it suffered the same phylloxera devastation as the rest of […]

History of Wine part 2 – the Greeks

In many parts of the ancient world, such as in Egypt, wine was drunk primarily by the kings and the upper classes. In Greece, however, it was drunk by everybody. It played an important role in The Odyssey of Homer, in Odysseus’ fight with Polyphemus. Odysseus relates how he had saved from harm Maron, a […]

The History and Culture of wine

So who first invented wine?  It is probably more to the point to ask, who first discovered wine?  It is not difficult to make it.  On the outside skin of the grape is the yeast and on the inside is the sweet juice:  mix them together, leave it for a few days for the yeast […]

The first edition of Loire Millésime: 19th – 22nd April 2017

I have recently returned from the first edition of Loire Millésime organised by Interloire. It was based in the now magnificently restored Abbey of Fontevraud ( We were lodged in the attached Hotel de Fontevraud ( Fontevraud/l-hotel), which has also been extensively renovated and greatly improved since I stayed there some 12 years ago. Enjoying […]

Viva Portugal, Portuguese Grand tasting – Tuesday 4th April

A report from the annual trade tasting by Gary With great anticipation, many of us hot-footed last Tuesday to the annual Portuguese trade tasting in the RHS halls in Victoria. As the WBTL Portuguese writer, as always, I found this an absorbing event: a chance to meet old friends, practise my Portuguese (!) and of […]

Belcanto delivers – worthy of the Michelin 2 Stars

Gary White reviews Belcanto Belcanto is the stand out restaurant in Lisbon and possibly Portugal. It is not cheap at all – and makes London’s Michelin restaurants look affordable – but it was recently voted in the top 50 restaurants in the world – with justification I feel. All staff speak English at this very […]


    The wine area of Gaillac in South-West France surrounds the cathedral city of Albi, east of Toulouse and north of Carcassone. Cut through by the Tarn River valley, it is a landscape of rolling hills and plateaux. As befits an area which saw extensive warfare during the Albigensian Crusade and the Hundred Years’ […]

Michael Edwards gives his verdict on “superb” Burgundy 2015 vintage

The Côte d’Or in 2015 had one of the warmest summers in recent years. But unlike the arid heat of August 2003 when the temperature at night didn’t fall below 40 degrees C, August 2015 was blessed with cool nights and gentle rain at the beginning and end of the month. In truth, the best […]

Consumer demand sees China’s wine imports up by nearly 20%

A further sign that China’s middle classes are opening up to wine is that the latest wine import figures that showed there was an impressive near 20%  jump to US$1.77 billion in the first nine months of this year, according to latest figures from the China Association for Imports and Exports of Wines and Spirits. The […]

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